Preservation in Progress

Historic Seattle’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Fundraising’ Category

Giving Thanks to our Supporters’ Circle

Support for Historic Seattle comes in many different forms. Advocates and program attendees are critical to our mission, but donors go beyond, allowing us to take our work to new heights. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we want to give you ALL our thanks.

Below we’ve featured a few individuals to highlight some of the ways people in our Supporters’ Circle make our work possible.

Thank you, from all of us at Historic Seattle.

Membership Support:
Longtime | Mollie Tremaine

Not only does Mollie Tremaine hold the esteem of being one of Historic Seattle’s first members, she was also a Historic Seattle staff member in the 80s and 90s when our office was in Pioneer Square and we had a staff of just three! Mollie continued to volunteer for Historic Seattle in many capacities after her retirement and served six years as a Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board member.

Why do you think it is as important to support Historic Seattle today as it was at the time of our founding in 1974?

Mollie Tremaine: If you believe in preservation, you have to support it! If you want to have preservation, you must wave the flag.

While preservation has always been my advocational interest, I think it’s really important to continue to recruit new support for preservation by educating people about places. To do this you have to keep a pulse on where people go, what places matter, and what people want to protect.

A woman with short, blonde hair and glass smiles

Mollie Tremaine.

New Member | Nancy Paine

What prompted you to join our organization?

Nancy Paine: I was raised in Seattle; it’s been my home since 1962. I believe we need to work on preserving places that embody our history. When I heard about the potential sale and possible  threat to the Hofius House on First Hill, I knew I needed to act. You guys are the mechanism for preserving our history.

Four white columns frame the entrance to the Hofius House, made of brick. Four windows sit above the entrance

The Hofius House on First Hill.

Monthly Donor:
Dale Dvorak

Monthly donors help sustain our work. Some employers, like Dale’s, match gifts which can significantly boost your contributions.

Why do you enjoy giving to Historic Seattle?

Dale Dvorak: This organization first got my attention when I purchased a 1918 craftsman (bungalow) house in 1998. I stumbled across an article in the Seattle Times spotlighting an upcoming Bungalow Fair sponsored by none other than Historic Seattle. After attending the event, I was hooked; there was so much to learn about styles, colors, and history through workshops, lectures, and tours.

Since then, I have expanded my interest to more than just craftsman homes; Historic Seattle provides a range of activities that keeps me engaged and satisfies my curiosity. I have been on walking tours, enjoyed food and drinks, listened to lectures, and I’ve also been challenged to not only enjoy Seattle’s rich history, but also to be part of keeping it for future generations to embrace instead of razing those beautiful windows into the past to build another glass and steel structure. I’m proud to be a member of Historic Seattle and glad that I can financially support such a vital organization doing so much good for the community.


Dale Dvorak stands in the middle of a group of people and laughs during a tour of Georgetown. Brick and industrial buildings are seen in the background

Dale Dvorak (center) at Plates, Pours, and Preservation: A Georgetown Food, Drink, and History tour.

Corporate Sponsor:
Bassetti Architects

Generous sponsors help Historic Seattle bring you a variety of education and advocacy programs, as well as special events, that enable you to explore our historic built environment.

What value is there for Bassetti in aligning with Historic Seattle
as a program sponsor?

Lorne McConachie | Bassetti Architects:
We value the rich texture of historic buildings within our urban fabric.
We value the cultural continuum of our evolving history.
We value the embodied energy of our landmark structures as we confront climate change.
We value the opportunity to preserve and restore our cultural and architectural legacy.
We value the educational opportunities embedded in our history.
We value the beauty of our landmarks.
We value the stories.
We value our community.

Save The Showbox Contributor:
James Keblas

Contributions to our advocacy fund were essential in securing landmark status for The Showbox. This support also enables us to continue to fight to protect other cultural spaces in Seattle.

Why did you decide to make a gift to Historic Seattle to help save The Showbox?

James Keblas: I was so relieved to hear that Historic Seattle was taking the lead to save The Showbox. I remember the moment well because it was the first time I had hope that saving The Showbox was actually possible. It meant so much to have an organization from outside the music community understand the cultural value The Showbox has for Seattle. I immediately went online and made a donation to support the cause.

The Showbox is a pillar of our music and creative identity. It’s beautiful and unique. It has hosted incredible events over generations and created memories that have come to define a significant piece of Seattle’s identity.

Most importantly, live music venues are the vital ingredient to creating a healthy music community. It’s where artists hone their craft and begin collaborations with other artists. It’s where audiences and community get developed over a shared love of music. There are many things that contribute to a healthy music scene, but I believe nothing is as critical as live music venues. If we have live music venues, all the other pieces fall into line. If we lose them, this community will lose its musical identity. I am grateful Historic Seattle is fighting to prevent this from happening. Seattle is a great music city. Let’s make sure that legacy is there for the next generation.

James Keblas, wearing a shirt that says "Save The Showbox," stands to the right of Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney.

James Keblas pictured backstage at a show in Washington, DC with Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney. Corin told James she was “heartbroken” when she heard about the threat to The Showbox.

Volunteer Leadership:
Council Member Valerie Tran

Valerie Tran joined Historic Seattle’s Council in 2017 and now serves as secretary, as well as on our education, advocacy, and benefit committees. As current board president of Friends of Little Saigon and a former International Special Review District board member, Valerie brings a deep understanding of the value of preservation to community — particularly to communities of underserved immigrants, refugees, and people of color.

Why does our cause matter to you?

Valerie Tran: It matters because it’s important to have a voice for historic preservation. There need to be resources and a network to prevent the loss of not just physical assets, but cultural assets. Historic Seattle understands the value of preservation of not just physical places but the preservation of community and use. When you preserve, you’re helping to prevent displacement and protect the physical representation of cultural groups. You ensure that physical places are here for the people who have historically used them and want and need to continue to use them.

Valerie Tran stands to the left of a board that says "2019 Preservation Awards - Community Advocacy - Friends of Little Saigon." She smiles while she holds a the 2019 Preservation Celebration Benefit journal.

Valerie Tran (left) at Historic Seattle’s 2019 Preservation Celebration Benefit.

Thank you to all of you who support Historic Seattle! Together we are shaping a city that values and protects its collective history.

Springing Into Action!

The past few weeks have been great for Historic Seattle’s 2016 advocacy efforts, with our generous supporters helping us exceed our $12,000 goal to fund this work. This campaign had many parts, including our spring mailing, GiveBIG, and a matching challenge from our Executive Director Kji Kelly, who was inspired by our donors’ resilience when technology failed us all on GiveBIG day. With the Seattle Foundation’s stretch funds, we’re thrilled to announce we will reach $21,000!

Nearly 120 of you came together to make this possible, and we are grateful for your support and belief in the importance of advocacy. Preservation is a team effort, one that is only possible when we all work together to protect our city’s built heritage.

Our three-pronged mission is an expression of that belief. We educate the public to promote a deeper understanding of the built environment and appreciation for preservation. We preserve our sense of community by acquiring, restoring, and reusing historic properties. And finally, we advocate for protecting buildings all around our region by connecting people and policy.

Advocacy efforts often occur behind the scenes, radiating far beyond our office to impact all of Seattle. Thank you for embracing this important work. Our loyal supporters have enabled us to do even more this year to fight for places that matter. We look forward to sharing our progress and successes on the preservation challenges ahead.


Photo: I Heart This Place chalkboard project

Building for Culture

Historic Seattle is thrilled to announce that our campaign for the landmark Washington Hall is complete! This $9.9M campaign has spanned many years, while we’ve secured grants, government funding, and private support from our generous donors. The renovation work, which has been executed in phases, is nearing completion of Phase 3, including seismic retrofit of the entire building, installation of fire sprinklers, and installation of an elevator, enabling the Seattle Landmark to be fully accessible for the first time in its long history—107 years! Click here to see the project team and acknowledgement of funders.

For Phase 4, we sought funding through the Building for Culture grant program—a joint effort of 4Culture, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and King County Council. Signed into law just in time for Thanksgiving, this unprecedented $28M fund provides grants to 102 arts, culture, and heritage projects throughout King County. We are receiving our full request of $986,000 to complete the 4th and final phase.

With this grant, our renovation will remain on schedule and allow Washington Hall to reopen in the late spring of 2016. We’re looking forward to returning the Hall to the community for use as an arts, cultural, and gathering space, and stewarding the “Hall for All” in the decades to come! Thank you 4Culture and King County!


Photo: King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Council Chair Larry Phillips at the Building for Culture bill signing, November 24, 2015


GiveBIG is May 5

Mark your calendar: the Seattle Foundation has announced that GiveBIG, an annual online day of charitable giving, will be Tuesday, May 5, 2015. All donations made through Historic Seattle’s page on the Seattle Foundation site between midnight and midnight on May 5 will be partially matched by GiveBIG sponsors.

Here are a few highlights of Historic Seattle’s work this year, which your gift will help support:

  • We are about to begin the rehabilitation of Washington Hall’s performance and event spaces. We’ll be making seismic upgrades, adding a sprinkler system, and restoring interior finishes. We’re also installing an elevator that will make the Main Hall fully accessible for the first time.
  • We’ve created an additional advocacy position on our staff, allowing us to expand our outreach efforts during a time of rapid growth and change.
  • We’ll continue to offer a wide range of educational events and programs to raise awareness of our region’s architectural heritage.

If you value our efforts to draw attention to endangered places, and you appreciate our work to save buildings that tell the story of our city, we hope you’ll make a donation to Historic Seattle through GiveBIG!

GiveBIG to Historic Seattle Today (May 6)!

TSF_GiveBig_logo_DATE_BLUE-02 blogToday only, when you donate to Historic Seattle through our page in the Seattle Foundation’s Giving Center, your gift will be stretched with funds from GiveBIG sponsors.

Historic Seattle is at a critical juncture in fundraising for the restoration of Washington Hall. With your help, the Hall will continue to foster community and to support emerging artists. Our vision includes:

  • A permanent home for Central Area organizations with a focus on arts, media, and social justice
  • Full restoration of the main performance hall, including the stage, balcony, and lobby
  • Space for community and youth programs and for the exchange of ideas

In addition, your support of Historic Seattle through GiveBIG will help us meet the challenges facing our entire city. In neighborhoods from West Seattle to Ballard, and from South Lake Union to the University District, Historic Seattle provides frontline leadership and technical assistance that makes it possible for people to reuse and reinvest in the buildings and neighborhoods they care about.

Thank you for giving big!

Support The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Kickstarter Campaign for Rich Haag Oral History Project

tclf kickstarter_haag

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) seeks support for its Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to complete its online video oral history of Seattle-based landscape architect Rich Haag. As TCLF describes, “In practice for more than 50 years, Haag is one of the nation’s most important Postwar landscape architects and the first from the Pacific Northwest to be chronicled in the Pioneers series. He is acclaimed for his innovative environmental and ecological design solutions at the sublime Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington, Seattle’s Gas Works Park, a former industrial site, and numerous other locations.”

Contribute today! Go to the TCLF’s page on Kickstarter for details about the project and how to contribute.

GiveBig to Historic Seattle May 15 (Today!)

GiveBIG has arrived! Today only, when you donate to Historic Seattle through The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG, your donation will be stretched with funds from GiveBIG sponsors.
Your gift will support the critical work that Historic Seattle does in the community, including:
  • Saving an irreplaceable building and creating a vital arts hub—Historic Seattle acquired and is restoring Washington Hall, a 105-year-old performance hall that once hosted Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, Marcus Garvey, and other artistic and cultural leaders. We are working to revive the hall as a vibrant center for arts and community.
  • Helping people preserve places that matter—In neighborhoods from West Seattle to Ballard, and from Vashon to the University District, Historic Seattle provides frontline leadership and technical assistance that makes it possible for people to reuse and reinvest in the buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes that they care about.
Thank you for giving big. With your help, we can continue our work to save and bring new vitality to buildings that hold an important place in our lives and our history.